Over the past year or two one side effect of the Global Banking Brouhaha has been a lot of high street retail refitting, briefly uncovering glimpses of signage and typography hidden for many years. If not quite as revelatory as Tutenkhamun’s tomb, these archaeological micro-events on the high street nonetheless show fascinating traces of old graphic design, rendered more intriguing by incompleteness.
Without nightvision cameras, bogus paranormal experts, or suggestible members of the public these glimpses reveal eerie traces of the past lives of type. In most cases the letters’ physical presence is long departed, their spirit inferred by shadows, fixing holes and accumulated detritus. Like some new kind of Kirlian photography the remaining traces hint at life and energy absent from the image.
Such marks are usually revealed fleetingly and soon cleaned up or built over. The above delicately shaded façade of a former Sketchleys branch is now sadly as pristine as its former customers’ shirts and suits. So keep your eyes peeled. The truth is out there, but not for long. Further evidence may be revealed from time to time here.